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Professor Steve Ward
Professor Steve Ward

Internal News - 18 October 2005

Professor gets prestigious award to build links with industry

A University of Bath professor has won a prestigious fellowship to help him build closer ties with the pharmaceutical industry.

Professor Steve Ward, who works in the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, has received the £100,000 award from the Royal Society to work with the pharmaceutical company Novartis over the next four years.

The award will help ensure that Professor Ward’s research into the mechanisms that drive as inflammatory diseases (such as Crohn’s and rheumatoid arthritis) and cancer, benefits from closer interactions with the pharmaceutical industry, hopefully leading to new and better treatments for these diseases.

It will also give him a greater understanding of the more general needs of industry in terms of application of new technologies in the drug discovery process as well as the kind of undergraduate training required for their future employees.

As part of the scheme, Professor Ward will be released from his teaching duties and will spend half of his time working in the Novartis laboratories in Horsham and, occasionally, Boston USA.

“Most academics have never spent any substantial time working in industry, yet we spend a large proportion of our time preparing undergraduates for careers in drug discovery and development. Many of the University’s products, including graduates as well as the technologies we develop, end up in the pharmaceutical arena. It is important to be exposed to the modern drug discovery process and understand the needs of industry,” said Professor Ward.

“This is a fantastic opportunity and I am really excited to receive one of the Royal Society’s Fellowships. I am looking forward to working alongside colleagues in industry as well as continuing with the work here in Bath.”